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> Rebel Heart ● 5 years on
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Liam.k.
post Mar 19 2020, 07:49 PM
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This month marks 5 years since Madonna released her thirteenth studio album, Rebel Heart. One of her most extensive records with over 20 tracks, the album represents the romantic and rebellious sides to Madonna's personality and explored a variety of sounds, from classic 90s house music to fresh trap and hip-hop beats. Some of the songs were autobiographical, allowing Madonna to look back and reflect on her career and achievements as well as sharing some rare moments of vulnerability and defeat. The results were welcomed by fans and critics alike, praising the record as her best effort in a decade. How well does the album hold up for you today? Take a moment to revisit the album upon its 5 year anniversary and share your ranking of its content, as well as sharing thoughts and memories of the era.
  • Living for Love
  • Devil Pray
  • Ghosttown
  • Unapologetic Bitch
  • Illuminati
  • Bitch I'm Madonna (feat. Nicki Minaj)
  • Hold Tight
  • Joan of Arc
  • Iconic (feat. Chance The Rapper & Mike Tyson)
  • HeartBreakCity
  • Body Shop
  • Holy Water
  • Inside Out
  • Wash All Over Me
  • Best Night
  • Veni Vedi Vici (feat. Nas)
  • S.E.X.
  • Messiah
  • Rebel Heart
  • Beautiful Scars
  • Borrowed Time
  • Addicted
  • Graffiti Heart
  • Queen
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Liam.k.
post Mar 19 2020, 07:51 PM
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J00psyMethyd
post Mar 19 2020, 08:03 PM
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I really quite like Rebel Heart. Some moments of its time, but overall the standard and average of tracks is much higher than MDNA. Ajay on youtube does a good review of it.

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Euphorique
post Mar 19 2020, 08:09 PM
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Probably my favorite Madonna album after ROL.
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HausofGhibli
post Mar 19 2020, 09:13 PM
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Still absolutely love this album! Will have to give it a listen sometime this week heart.gif
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 19 2020, 11:00 PM
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I think it's mostly solid! Some very great highs, but a few absolute shockers peppered around.

I feel like if they trimmed the fat a bit they could have got a really incredible album out of this.
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slowdown73
post Mar 22 2020, 12:09 AM
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Rebel heart was a lot better than MDNA but still not great. Quite patchy - some good songs but a lot of stuff was just not up the mark. A case of less is more with this album.
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LJ JORD 7
post Mar 22 2020, 12:52 AM
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Itís a definite improvement on MDNA but the lows on this are still LOW.

But there is some good on this album and a few tracks that I revisit. I think the early demos what leaked on certain songs were better than the actual versions though. Heartbreak city and the title track for sure had better demos.

I think I need to listen as a whole album again at some point to really see how it ranks 5 years on.

Of the last three albums she released though Iíd say I prefer this to MDNA but think Madame X is a much better album than Rebel Heart.

I think the main thing with this album what hinders it from being strong is that itís too long so certain moments on the album drag it down for me. Thereís a strong 11/12 track album on here somewhere though when you get rid of the unnecessary moments where it feels sheís trying too hard to get younger listeners on board.
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dandy*
post Mar 22 2020, 11:17 AM
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I can't really judge the album as a whole as I haven't listened to anything other than my cut down version since its release - I really didn't like the songs I left off though.

01 Living For Love
02 Addicted
03 Devil Pray
04 Ghosttown
05 Messiah
06 Queen
07 Rebel Heart
08 Hold Tight
09 Joan of Arc
10 Borrowed Time
11 Inside Out
12 HeartBreakCity
13 Graffiti Heart
14 Wash All Over Me

tbh I don't even love all of those either
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Euphorique
post Mar 22 2020, 09:28 PM
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My favorites are Hold Tight, Messiah, Joan Of Arc, Ghosttown, Unapologetic Bitch, Wash All Over Me, heartbreak City, Rebel Heart, and Best Night.
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vibe
post Mar 23 2020, 08:29 AM
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One of my fav Madonna albums.

Joan Of Arc and Devil Pray should have been singles !!
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dandy*
post Mar 23 2020, 09:27 AM
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^^
They are definitely two of the main highs on it, Joan of Arc is just lovely.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Mar 23 2020, 04:42 PM
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'Inside Out' is SO underappreciated!

It's a beautiful track. wub.gif
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blacksquare
post Mar 24 2020, 12:08 PM
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QUOTE(dandy* @ Mar 22 2020, 11:17 AM) *
I can't really judge the album as a whole as I haven't listened to anything other than my cut down version since its release - I really didn't like the songs I left off though.

01 Living For Love
02 Addicted
03 Devil Pray
04 Ghosttown
05 Messiah
06 Queen
07 Rebel Heart
08 Hold Tight
09 Joan of Arc
10 Borrowed Time
11 Inside Out
12 HeartBreakCity
13 Graffiti Heart
14 Wash All Over Me

tbh I don't even love all of those either


It's interesting how different all of our tracklists would be — and how people don't really love enough to fill out an entire album.

My main issue, beyond the vocal production (and production in general), is how a lot of songs had the potential to be something much greater than they ended up being. It's very quantity over quality, and in the end, lacked cohesion and just sounded unfocused and sloppy. There are songs that are so close to being something, but they just made more instead of working on what they had.

01 Living for Love
02 Devil Pray
03 Ghosttown
04 Unapologetic Bitch
05 Bitch I'm Madonna
06 Iconic (or Illuminati)
07 Hold Tight
08 Beautiful Scars
09 Rebel Heart
10 Joan of Arc
11 Borrowed Time
12 Queen

My tracklist would probably look something like this — not because I like most of them — but because it covers most of the sounds she was going for.


This post has been edited by blacksquare: Mar 24 2020, 12:10 PM
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blacksquare
post Mar 24 2020, 12:09 PM
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I can't decide if the issue is me or if everyone else has always been sleeping on Beautiful Scars.
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HausofGhibli
post Mar 24 2020, 12:15 PM
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QUOTE(blacksquare @ Mar 24 2020, 12:09 PM) *
I can't decide if the issue is me or if everyone else has always been sleeping on Beautiful Scars.

I like Beautiful Scars!

I'm shocked you don't have Wash... on your tracklist. I think it fits the Rebel Heart sound to a tee!

Hold Tight and Iconic should be getting loads of love too.
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blacksquare
post Mar 24 2020, 01:32 PM
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QUOTE(StayatHaus @ Mar 24 2020, 12:15 PM) *
I like Beautiful Scars!

I'm shocked you don't have Wash... on your tracklist. I think it fits the Rebel Heart sound to a tee!


I just didn't want it to be too ballad heavy, and I think the others are superior. I don't mind it though!
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Liam.k.
post Mar 26 2020, 09:59 PM
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I gave the full album a listen today and I must admit I enjoyed every track. I actually think the album flows surprisingly well too; I know we've considered in the past what could have been had the plans for a double album gone ahead, but I'm now thinking it works better mixed together, especially as some of the tracks seem to fit into both categories. Also, for a nearly 25 track album clocking in at an hour and a half, it doesn't feel that long. I will admit that a tighter album would lift the album further and would make a lot more people happy, though.

I agree with blacksquare that there are a few choice vocal productions and some of the mixing/mastering isn't perfect, but it doesn't spoil the listen too much like in the way it did for MDNA (and Rebel Heart has the excuse of having to rush post-production or re-do certain tracks due to the leaks).

What I love is that we get some classic Madonna balladry which hadn't really received proper focus on her albums in over a decade. 'Ghosttown' is still one of her best songs for me and 'Messiah' is right up there as one of my favourites from the album too. The raw vulnerability of 'Joan of Arc' is so striking; we've seen Madonna bare her soul many a time in her music but this felt like the first time she admitted being hurt by bashings from the media. 'Devil Pray' strikes the balance just right for being on trend and feeling distinctly Madonna, definitely should have been a single.

QUOTE(blacksquare @ Mar 24 2020, 12:09 PM) *
I can't decide if the issue is me or if everyone else has always been sleeping on Beautiful Scars.

I've been guilty of sleeping on it before but that's down to me not owning the edition of the album that includes it. It has since been added to my Madonna playlist and it's so sweet and effortless. I've also found 'Hold Tight' really grow on me after previously finding it rather generic, yet it has the potential to be quite glorious if it didn't sound so... muffled.

I consider 'Best Night' one of the best on Rebel Heart so I'll raise that as my choice for underrated.
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